My blogging friend Pam managed to put into words through her poem today what I have been feeling. The past year has been excruciatingly painful, trying, challenging and disappointing in so many ways. She, like myself, has tried to cling to the positive, to true hope and faith in the tenacity of living because this is what determined humans do.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but the physical and emotional trials alone don’t knock me off my feet. It is when my creative well runs dry that true depression comes knocking at my door. When I can’t find the words or sketch an image I feel like I am hanging over a great abyss with no hope but to plunge into the depths.
While we did ‘escape’ to paradise here in Panama, it has been enjoyable only in bits and pieces due to an emergent health issue that came up for my husband. I know he came close to death at least once during all of this and I have never felt as alone as I did in the moment I realized I had to make decisions to help him. He is normally the leader, making plans and executing the details while I am consultant and laborer. Couple this with being in a foreign country where I am minimally able to speak the language while most of the medical people I had to work with spoke minimal to no English; and the pressure was nearly debilitating.
My father, who passed away tragically and unnecessarily just four months ago, always taught me to pick myself up and dust myself off in the hard times. He told me to face the unknown with courage and without fear. It is an easier thing for a child to do when facing a vaccination than when facing life’s more daunting challenges. Still, I carry his credo with me and always plug forward, knowing things will work out somehow.
What pulls me through the worst of times is to do something for others. People say to pamper myself, take a hot bath or buy something special; but what cheers me most of all is to give someone else a reason to smile. Doing things that bring joy to others really makes my heart glad.
Soooo...I pulled out the art supplies I brought with me and, although the gorgeous nature just couldn’t inspire me to represent it on the page, our landlord’s youngest child was to be my inspiration. This family is such a joy to be around and their young daughter has the vibrance of a dozen children. She is vivacious, challenging, tireless, tenacious and fearless. I expect she will go far in life and I wanted her to have a remembrance of herself from someone who viewed her from the distance beyond family.
This is Luna.